Data and Community Theatre - a Six Part Series (Part 4)
Once you have your data, what will you do with it?
Preparing and sharing your results will introduce a whole new set of decisions for you and your team to make. Some data may want or need to be updated regularly, so the way in which it's presented might be motivated by how often you will need to access or edit it. Conversely, if your material is very specific or one-time only, you may have other options or freedoms.
In no particular order, here are some presentation ideas for your data:
Video (ie: interviews)
Any of the above might have charts, images, quotes, bullet points, or any other variation of visuals or formatting of the content itself.
Once you have your data in a nice presentational format, now what?
Your board (or whoever your ambassadors are: your actors, your volunteers, your staff, on and on) should know vital and statistical information about your theatre. Anyone can be your spokesperson; people may be serving as your spokespeople without your knowledge (and this is a good thing, if they are saying the right things)! Be sure to empower them with some of your facts, both soft and hard facts and data. The person they are speaking with might be more in tune with the statistical information as it relates to your organization.
Have information readily available on your website, if appropriate. Maybe offer some quick info and data to new volunteers, to a new cast/crew at the start of a production, or in handouts or during curtain speeches for performances.
Again, remember how much and how often donors and supporters are seeing arts (and other) organizations through traditional business model eyes. Help them understand!
Your board (or whoever your ambassadors are: your actors, your volunteers, your staff, on and on) should know vital and statistical information about your theatre.
This article describes KPI performance management for arts organizations, as well as provides a nice illustration of how to share the results.
When sharing your data, you might want to keep in mind some of the bigger impacts that are important to share: things to brag about and that your organization is particularly proud of (longevity, customer service satisfaction, community outreach), AND where data might be helping your organization grow (as long as this is supported by real efforts) - go ahead and mention where you have learned about areas of improvement needed and how the data showed you this.